Last of the 13/14 California lift-served!
May 23rd, 2014
Location: Mammoth Mountain via Sonora Pass with a return through Tioga Pass
Weather: Bluebird with perfect temps. New snow a day prior led to wintery morning turns which progressed into ideal afternoon corn.
Riders: Slaythegnar & Holden
POV VIDEO N/A – Dad was coach on this trip so POV…
Music: LSB – FabricLive Promo Mix
Java Porn: Bald bro airport Peet’s drip coffee…
It’s the time of the year in the Golden State…yearly Spring/Early Summer missions to Mammoth for railing some groomers and lapping corn via lift access. Ski touring the Sierra backcountry is in its prime this time of the year, but its nice to be able to burn some calories on the descent. Of course, just like clockwork, we received a nice little snowstorm right before the Memorial Day holiday…which is almost an ironic yearly occurrence.
My son and I decided to rally from San Francisco via Sonora Pass. The Pass was closed due to snow earlier in the morning but opened around 11am. As we reached the summit of the pass, we were greeted some freshly plowed snowbanks and wintery looking peaks. Leavitt Peak and the Y Couloir looked especially tasty from afar.
The next day, we rolled into the parking lot as car #3, skied some wintery firm corduroy as if our own private resort. Throughout the day, there must have been only around 50 other humans slaying the slopes. We didn’t mind. Not a single soul was skiing down the Upper Stump Alley groomer throughout the day, and therefore, was carvetastically good the entire day. The 165cm Slaloms were the ideal ski to enjoy the mountain with a 5 year old. Overall, the snow corned nicely and never got too sticky due to reasonably cool temps.
On the way out, we decided to drive through Tioga Pass. After a mandatory MoMart stop, we stopped to take a look at Ellery Bowl’s coverage. Remarkably there was almost zero snow-melt compared to my ski mission a month earlier. Beyond that, we took a few pics of Half Dome and motored casually past remnants of the Rim Fire, the livestock of the rolling foothills, wind farms, and 400 Starbucks all the way back to the city. All in all a great overnight trip and definitely a great way to see the micro climates of California in 30 hours.
LATE SPRING SCHUSSING BEGINS…:
On May 20th, it began to snow. Actually, it snows on more Memorial Day weekends than not…and Kirkwood was looking quite tasty!
Mammoth was getting a nice plaster as well (photo: Gnar_Junky)
Its also the day that our little girl turned 3!
We left San Francisco and headed East…looking drought-like
Still a few storm clouds hanging around…
Hwy 108 is narrow hairpin central when approaching the legs before and after the summit…a Porsche 911 GT3 would be a better fit than a large SUV. Just trying to help.
He’s been up here before but this time he was awake…one day a father and son team will ski that face…we just have to!
He’s the starter for Fast and Furious 24…
Geology is everywhere around here…volcanic rock on one side of the road, and granite on the other.
Here’s another look of the gnar face…its tough as the road usually doesn’t open until Memorial Day and the gnar face’s rocks warm up quickly to melt away a safe descent. This year the road opened around Easter but we sessioned the Y Couloir and the upper chutes off Leavitt leaving no energy to attempt a go on this monster.
With about a foot of fresh, I bet the Y Couloir back there was lovely…
Most likely last snowfall until the Fall…so we had to play around
Leavitt Falls is a waterfall in the Sierra
Best facial expression ever?
This iPhone shot doesn’t do this valley justice. With it backing up to the Sawtooths, it really is one stunning place…
Temperatures were dropping near Mono Lake…
After a great meal and some much-needed shuteye, we arrived to take the 3rd parking spot. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a wee bit twitching knowing that I wouldn’t be sessioning Chair 23 all morning…but hey, that’s what Dad’s do…AM I RIGHT?
Rolling off Chair 1 on our first lap was a picturesque moment for sure. Nobody around, fresh tracks, blue skies, and a mid-wintery groomed version of Cornice Bowl in one of the worst seasons of all time…at the end of May.
Wintery groomed to ourselves…we’ll take it!
Took a few laps before eating breakfast…of course we did!
C’mon boy…rail those edges!
Working on tucking…but need to work on his form.
Time for breakfast!
Headed up Chair 3 for some laps…Chair 23 in the distance holding onto Winter…for now.
Working on edge control…
Starting to soften…time to lay some slalom trenches!
We also did a few laps from Chair 3 to the bottom of Chair 1 down Broadway….way too crowded if you ask me.
Time to head to the Summit!
Not many kids in California got to hike in fresh snow on this day…but Mr. one-piece did!
11,000ft and stoked!
Looking to the South…
A kid eating powder…with a strong cell signal.
Top of the World was a bit perilous…
Obligatory Minaret photography…
TIME TO SLIDE DOWN FRESH POW!
Snow pack measurement…with a kid.
High altitude groomer…
We took the long way down to Chair 1…it didn’t disappoint.
IF YOU HAVE YOUNG KIDS…BUY A PAIR…TRUST ME!!!!
Lower mountain pow huntin’…
After a long day of skiing….HEY WAIT A MINUTE!!!!!! (empty of course)
We took a Sepia run down a perfect corn groomer…ALONE!
TRENCHTOWN and FAST at 1pm…THANK YEW!
‘Let’s see…one more lap, but where?’
We took one last run down toward Stump Alley and then our favorite dirty trail back to Chair 1. We have no idea why we loved the dirty section so much…but it was pretty rad.
Just a thin layer of goodness…
That’s my kid alright…
UNTIL NEXT YEAR MAMMOTH! WE HAD A BLAST!
After ice cream sandwiches and Have’a Chips at MoMart, we checked out some to the lines off of HWY 120. The Dana Plateau looked pretty decent up high although Powerhouse was completely done.
Ellery was a different story…
IS IT ME OR DO I NOT SEE A SINGLE TRACK??? COME ON PEOPLE!
YOSEMITE and JUST THRILLED!
A big rock in Yosemite National Park in California of the United States of America…
The next day we headed to Uncle Steve’s Birthday party in San Martin…
The next morning it was time for a classic San Francisco beach day…
DAMN FINE CALIFORNIAN MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!